The ultimate driving machine? Last one you’ll live to own, anyway.

"Well, it's one of our least expensive cars"

Former Greenwich selectman Lynn Lavery’s Mini-Cooper burned up and set her garage on fire 24 hours after she’d parked it, turned it off and removed the key. BMW, which makes the Mini-Cooper, wasn’t exactly apologetic, admitting that they’ve known their cars were exploding and were certainly planning to notify their customers of the danger, eventually.

I would never buy a modern BMW – their complicated electronics seem to cause nothing but grief – but a manufacture knowing about this and doing nothing? Nicht so gut.


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18 responses to “The ultimate driving machine? Last one you’ll live to own, anyway.

  1. Anonymous

    complicated electronics? how so? I’m not confused by my car.

  2. It was all downhill after the 2002.

  3. AJ

    I like the new series 1, pretty sweet looking car. You can’t abuse the new ones the way the way you did the old ones, but they’re really no worse than any other modern car. Richard is sort of right about the 2002: they had a very unique road feel, almost like a 4 wheel motorcycle. But a properly modified e30 is still, by any standards, a very awesome car. BTW I think the Ford F-150 holds the record for burning down houses. E30s gone wild:

  4. Anonymous

    3 series: best car ever

    i try not to argue with idiots

  5. Anonymous

    “The issue occurs when the engine is switched off,”
    “Tracy Lavery said the Mini Cooper was a “blast” to drive” !!??

  6. Libertarian Advocate

    Boy am I glad I read this post. I was seriously considering buying a mini cooper in the near term as a hedge against Obutthead’s wild gas price spikes coming our way this summer.

  7. AJ

    Take a look at Subarus Libertarian Advocate, some of the models (I forget which) will give you the same mileage as a two wheel drive (oops, I mean one wheel drive unless you’ve got a LSD) and that’s pretty good for AWD which is usually a real gas guzzler. Yes, with the engine turned off Anoymous 12:19, you don’t hear about it often, but it hapens all the time — to some cars more than others. I had a GMC AWD Safari van catch fire and burn up in my driveway just last year. Why? Who knows. An electrical short somewhere, I guess.

  8. Cobra

    Install a cockpit-accessable battery cut-off switch. Eliminates the potential for such conflagrations.

  9. Old Mick


    That great video reminds me of the West Cork Rally. Good times…

  10. anonymous

    Mini Coopers get lousy gas mileage, anyway. It’s a toy car, a plaything for ladies who lunch and their children who want to look cool without a Prius.

  11. Fred2

    MiniCoopers – at least the early models, get great economy if driven conservatively, which given how much fun they are to drive hard would be dumb.

    That being said they are a very nice 2 seat sports car with good trunk space if you remove the vestigial back seat.

  12. AJ

    Everything is subject to blowing up CF, including all the appliances in your home. You could shut off the power main on your circuit breaker panel, but even then, a power surge comming off a transformer could burn the rubber off the power line coming into your house and catch the roof on fire. It happened to a house just down the street from me. Take whatever precautions you want, make sure your insurance is up to date, have a beer and forget about it.

  13. FF


    Studies say that 72% of all Subaru drivers are Democrats

  14. AJ

    FF, I live in Canada so I have no idea. No Democrats or Republicans up here. I have a friend who works for Subaru, and he tells me almost all sales are paid in full, no financing asked for. So the people who are buying them have money in the bank if that tells you anything about political leanings. Also they don’t offer any hybrids, and I thought Democrats loved hybrids, especially ones with extra solar panels glued all over the roof and trunk lid. BTW there is, in reality, no Democrat or Republican party, but just one party: the we own your ass party and their left-right, constituent fools who’ve been divided and are close to being conquered. In my opinion, parties should be classified as towards individual rights of against them. The whole left right thing is just an old illusionists trick to keep you distracted while they pick your pocket and try to make it illegal for you to say anything against it.